Insight: Issue 44 (12th May)
T-minus 5 days until hugging is legal again!
That’s probably the best headline we’ve got for you today, but I guess we should throw in some event news as well… We’ve got: a round-up of the rules event profs should know ahead of restrictions easing on 17 May; another good news story about a big live event resulting in zero COVID cases; cold hard data to prove that people want in-person events to resume; a report revealing the current state of the events industry after Q1 of 2021; why the lack of a government-backed insurance scheme for events is causing major problems; and why gamification may not be the answer to all of life’s problems after all (*gasp*).
What events can happen from 17 May?
In addition to the UK-wide hugging ban being lifted, Monday also marks the move into Step 3 of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown in England – bringing with it some rare good news for the events industry. These are the 3 rules event profs should know:
- Event organisers must follow all relevant COVID-secure guidelines (which differ depending on the type of event) and complete a related risk assessment.
- Organisers and attendees must adhere to all legal requirements – i.e. enforcing social distancing guidelines, mandating face coverings in indoor areas, and not exceeding the maximum indoor/outdoor group sizes.
- And all reasonable action must be taken by event organisers to mitigate risk to public health. (We kind of hope that goes without saying at this point.)
In Scotland, lockdown rules are also being eased faster than anticipated due to the fantastic NHS vaccine rollout (good old NHS). With Level 2 now looming we can all look forward to a pint inside a pub and without braving sub-zero temperatures. For event profs, events will now allow 100 people indoors and up to 500 outdoors where there is unrestricted seating. Hurrah and huzzah. Here’s a bit more info on the whole kit and kaboodle.
Summit with 1k attendees stays COVID-free
Another good news story for you – an international travel industry event with around 1k in-person attendees has gone ahead with zero COVID transmission among the crew or the delegates. The World Travel & Tourism Council’s annual Global Summit took place safely and successfully on the 26 and 27 April in Mexico (and it also attracted tens of thousands of viewers online – so, you know, hybrid events FTW). Commenting on the *many* COVID safety protocols they had in place, Production Director Ben van Grutten said:
“It shows that we can produce real events safely if they’re done properly.”
Attendees want in-person events ASAP
For months event profs have been saying ‘people want to return to live events’ – and now we finally have the data to prove it.
A study by Freeman has been tracking people’s feelings about attending in-person events for the better part of a year, and the most recent report shows strong signs that recovery may happen sooner rather than later:
- 85% of attendees and 86% of exhibitors are expecting to return to in-person events by winter 2021 (this is up from only 74% of attendees and 78% of exhibitors in the last report).
- Overall positive sentiment towards attending in-person events increased from 30% to 45% – and negative sentiment decreased from 51% to 36%.
- The Confidence Index also continues to trend upwards – 0.81 compared to 0.75 last time around.
Those are some good-looking stats, right there.
State of the event industry report: Q1 of 2021
So, we’ve taken the pulse of event attendees – but what about the organisers?
EventMB surveyed their readers in February and March about how they see the industry developing. They got 740 responses, with 91% of respondents identifying as event planners, managers, marketers, strategists, or technologists; and the remaining 9% identifying as suppliers.
You can download a graphical summary of the report here, where you’ll find everything you need to know about the current state of the events industry.
No event insurance = too much risk
It’s safe to say that today’s insight has offered more good news than we’ve had in a while – but the reality is, we’re not out of the woods just yet. Events and festivals are still being cancelled left, right, and centre – and plenty of event organisers are citing the lack of a government-backed insurance scheme as the reason.
Tim Thornhill, director of Tysers Insurance Brokers, has spent the last few months lobbying for such a scheme, following their successful push to secure a government-backed ‘restart scheme’ for the film and TV industries. He suggests that a similar policy for events would restore confidence in the sector, making the very good point that:
“It is safe for events to go ahead, and if we can prove that safe events can take place, then why not have a government insurance scheme in place?”
Gaming the system
And last for today, a little light reading for you…
’Gamification’ was a *big* buzzword in our industry last year – and many swore it would be the key to better engagement at events. But what happens when delegates don’t play the game, but game the system instead? Well, you’ll find out right here.
Hug you later, event profs!